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Dame Zandra Rhodes visits Aberdeen to celebrate her 50 years in fashion

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D

ame Zandra Rhodes brightened up a stormy day in Scotland’s north east during a trip to an exhibition celebrating her five decades in fashion.

Defying the perils of Storm Eunice with heavy snow showers sweeping across the country, the British fashion designer made it north of the border to visit her 50 Years of Fabulous exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The display, which first opened in November last year, celebrates the founding of Dame Zandra’s fashion house.

It showcases outfits from 1968, such as her lipstick-print trousers from her Fulham Road Clothes Shop, to her new garments, which she dubs “butterflies”, including her latest 2021 kaftan in recycled polyester which is part of the designer’s collaboration with Ikea.

Dame Zandra’s lipstick-print trousers from her Fulham Road Clothes Shop (PA)

The 25-plus eye-catching outfits on display include a replica of the tunic she made for Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 1974.

It is the first time the exhibition, which was delayed due to the pandemic, has been on show outside of London, where it first launched in the city’s Fashion and Textile Museum in 2019.

“It’s wonderful to see my whole career displayed in front of me,” Dame Zandra said after visiting the collection on Friday.

“So many wonderful memories have resurfaced just looking at it all from start to finish.”

The 81-year-old was dressed in bright-red pleated Kitty Joseph trousers, her own multi-coloured West Yorkshire Spinners wool jumper, a glitzy collection of Andrew Logan accessories, including a giant face brooch on her chest, and pink-sequined Adidas trainers.

When I had it green, it just looked like old grass

“The only other time I was in Aberdeen, in 1984 I think it was, we were caught in a snowstorm,” she laughed.

“I was here for Frasers back then, with a range of sheets.”

Her hair, of course, was also pink, a signature look for the designer who has regularly been dubbed Princess of Punk.

“Pink is so much easier.

“When I had it green, it just looked like old grass,” she winked.

Dame Zandra with Kathy Morrison at Wool for Ewe in Aberdeen during the British designer’s trip north of the border on Friday (PA)

Dame Zandra, who was made a dame in 2015 and who created timeless pieces for Diana, Princess of Wales, paid a visit to independent wool shop Wool For Ewe in Rosemount Place during her trip.

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